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NCJ Number: 167597 Find in a Library
Title: Combating Bigotry in Law Enforcement
Journal: FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin  Volume:65  Issue:6  Dated:(June 1996)  Pages:27-32
Author(s): E J Delattre; D L Schofield
Date Published: 1996
Page Count: 6
Sponsoring Agency: NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
Sale Source: NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Document: HTML
Type: Report (Technical Assistance)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The ethical duty to address bigoted speech and expressive conduct in police agencies is examined in terms of first amendment protections for public employees and the responsibilities of police administrators.
Abstract: Police administrators often believe that first amendment rights of sworn and civilian personnel prevent firm agency policies and sanctions against bigoted speech and expressive conduct. However, neither the Constitution nor first amendment case law guarantees unconditional freedom of speech and nonverbal expression despite the unconditional right to freedom of thought. Courts tend to focus on the purpose, audience, and speaker's personal bias in assessing the content, form, and context of an employee's speech to determine whether it relates to a matter of public concern. Police administrators should recognize that sworn and civilian personnel have the right to think what they will but not the right to give expression to bigotry or to do so without sanction. Recruitment, training, supervision, and accountability procedures in police agencies should be clear on these issues. The duty to address bigotry in policing is among the most important obligations of police leadership and police agencies. Reference notes
Main Term(s): Police discipline
Index Term(s): Discrimination; Freedom of speech; Police management; Police misconduct; Police policies and procedures
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